Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Nigel Clark, Nov 13, 2009.
Well no. Need to be double red status to parade a King...
I knew I'd get picked up on that!
Neither the WSR, SVR, SDR & no doubt others were "red routes" in former times. That doesn't make their upgrading part of some sort of contest as you suggest. Its much more a matter of being able to run available motive power as well as occasional gala visitors and through ex NR workings. Nobody in their right mind could afford to run Kings (for example) on a regular daily basis year after year but some of the red classified two cylinder locos are useful.
Yes, I get that the ability to run e.g. a Hall would be useful. However (at the risk of sounding like the honourable Member for the Isle of Wight) I do wonder if getting more of the line fixed up to Blue first, and then upgrade to Red, might be a sounder policy. (I assume that the work to get up to Red is more extensive, and costly, than to Blue.) The last thing anyone wants to see is a portion of perfect railway in the midst of stretches of sub-standard.
With that list done, I expect it will be considerably more than 10 years before something on that scale will be needed again!
If it was just a Hall and bigger, then maybe, but it's more extensive than that, I didn't realise until it was pointed out in the WSR context that both 56xx and 94xx tank engines are red route. And in any case I wonder whether, leaving aside bridges and other structures, that well maintained blue track is any different to well maintained red track. If it all needs a thorough overhaul/replacement, and you want it to last long term, chances are you're going to be building it to red standard anyway.
Going to red may be more costly than blue - but doing it in two steps is more costly still. So ultimately you have to take a view of what your desired standard is, and then do all works to that standard as they become due.
As others have pointed out, if you are a line reliant on hiring in external motive power, the higher the allowable weight limit, the more choice you get, which is pretty important in a market where motive power is scarce. A small prairie might be more cost effective to run than a Hall - but not if a Hall is all that is available but you can't hire it because the infrastructure won't allow it.
The critical point is to be certain (for locomotive hire) that any additional costs attract a higher income that is greater than the excess costs hence the value of certain locomotives to certain lines. An extreme case perhaps but those lines which have hosted Flying Scotsman since its return from overhaul have incurred heavy costs (principally for hire fees and security) but those extra costs have been more than covered by the additional income that the locomotive's presence generated.
Looking around for other weight diagrams I note that the A4 and the P2 would both be double red under GWR weight restrictions. An extension of Tom's point is that if you can't hire in a steam locomotive at all then you really are in trouble for income.
As @Jimc notes I think we were all thinking of long term hire of steam locos to cover normal services rather than a short term "visitor" where the factors you describe do have to be considered.
6695 was supposed to be on a 25yr agreement and the owning group seem to be suggesting that it will be back in traffic by next April. OK, it's a red route engine, but once that issue is fixed the WSR could have had an ideal engine for the line - a least, as ideal as a pannier tank! Just seems a bewildering decision to me to let it go.
There should be a warning posted on the forum page about thread Drift!!
Its contagious to all threads on here.
Getting back on track.........
Great news for SCR, 5619 has proved very popular with the public and crews, I can not wait to see 6695 steaming again and have a turn firing her.
6695 arrived safely this evening.
Not everybody with direct, non armchair, experience of this type would agree with your description "ideal" and certainly not to be compared with a pannier for several reasons.
From this armchair perspective it would be useful to know why such an engine would not be 'ideal' for the WSR.
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I don't have direct experience of either a Taffy tank or a Pannier to compare. However I do know that 56xxs and 66xxs are known as being a bit of a nightmare to oil up and prepare. Very little space between the frames and the boiler and no real access from the side, so one has to go up through the frames. With a pannier you could lie on the running board and reach your arm in.
My suspicion is that if the WSR felt there was scope for getting Red Route status reinstated soon enough to make retaining the 25 year agreement worthwhile, they would have sought to have done so. The fact the agreement was terminated suggests they were not able to guarantee use for the engine soon enough for one or both parties to feel the agreement was worthwhile.
Great cop for the Swindon and Cricklade though.
Any idea what livery 6695 is due to be outshopped in? I for one have never seen a Taffy Tank in Great Western Green for what it's worth...
It’s really a topic for elsewhere but with 6960 at the SVR for the rest of its ticket, 9466 at the GWSR for the season I would imagine that we are looking at 2021 for the upgrade at the earliest.
That said, there could be lots of reasons the agreement was terminated, nothing to do with the weight restrictions but that is between the respective parties. The SCR have gained whatever the reasons and should be congratulated as not only ex BR but possibly more useful for the foreseeable future than the loco they just lost.
Doesn’t 5637 have strong connections with the SCR, but was moved away as the work wasn’t there for a locomotive of that size? With the SCR preferring the lower hire costs of small industrials? It therefore seems an odd move for 6695 to go there.
I did wonder if we might see 6695 return to Swanage. However I guess there is no need for it now, with the influx of other locos (563, 30120, 31625, 31874. 31806)
I think 63" of recently vacated shed space might have been a positive factor....
Indeed. This looks like a deal to get 6695 under cover whist it’s finished off, and then provide cover whilst the TKH is overhauled. After that I’d imagine 6695 will move to pastures new again.
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